Sunday 18 January 2015

Opinion: It is not African Time, it is deplorable conduct

This is the limit
At an event I attended recently, I witnessed attitudes that left me too appalled for words that the need to address it head-on is pertinent.
This event was to begin at a scheduled time and I arrived with one of the organisers ahead of schedule to help set up the venue. Soon guests started to arrive and quite many were on time, including Africans from other countries.
Two hours into the event the celebrant made an interesting observation to me as I was already seething with rage that our ‘people’ had not yet arrived. Most of the guests were friends and acquaintances of the partner and they were also on hand to run last-minute errands for the event.
I’m calling them out
After the third hour, the familiar Nigerian crowd sauntered in, amongst this lot were supposed organisers too, without apology or regret and they ensconced themselves in isolation to most of the early arrivals, there was very little mingling and I doubt most of them even introduced themselves to others, talk less of shaking hands. I was both scandalised and appalled.
We have somewhat embraced the rotten and reprehensible cultural trait of not being punctual and given it a seemingly respectable moniker of African Time. It is not African Time, it is deplorable conduct, excused by too many.
With African Time, you can descend into sloppy timekeeping even if you are wearing and expensive watch, since the purpose of the watch is not to keep time, but to show off your shiny baubles like a primitive given shiny worthless things in exchange for jewels of antiquity.
With African Time, you are under no obligation to give adequate notice of your estimated time of arrival if you will not arrive on time as other better-bred and cultured people do, it is an accepted norm to absent yourself from discipline and rigour, because Africans do not do order.
It is a thing of honour and respect
Sometimes, I wonder if the irredeemable purveyors of the African Time practice will arrive at interviews for jobs late too and what stupid excuses they might have to proffer that the interviewer will be too embarrassed to comment, but that simple act of late coming will be an automatic disqualification for the job.
Some suggested, that this African Time concept is a values thing, I will go further to suggest it is first a sign of indiscipline and unreliableness, which means I will never be able to recommend such people in a professional setting and I know some recommendations I have given count for much.
Beyond this, it is an expression of disrespect apart from surreptitiously dishonouring the host. Now, whilst any host will appreciate being respected and honoured with the attendance of guests at any function they arrange, the greater honour and respect are shown and fully acknowledged when guests arrive on time and more so when they stay to the end.
Keep away if you can’t be punctual
I cannot imagine myself arriving at a function late without giving advance notice, besides, I try to communicate to ensure my host is not left worrying where I might be. If the matter is tentative, we can work on probabilities, but if an assurance is given, then, my word must be my bond.
I write this blog utterly disgusted by conduct that leaves me close to reaching for a sickbag, African Time attitudes are learnt and to see this contemptible activity deployed to the point of expert utility by Nigerian youths is both unacceptable and untenable.
I have many times raised this issue with some of these youths to no avail and I am no more to condone or tolerate this utter uselessness. If you cannot respect and honour your host with being punctual or giving proper notice of why you will be late, please just stay away from the gathering of respectable and cultured people, it is evident that swine associating with people will not turn swine into ladies or gentlemen.

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